Telefónica CTO says 5G transformation underway through Huawei R&D agreement

Telefónica Group CTO Enrique Blanco said the operator has begun the process of launching 5G networks by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Huawei covering joint research of the technology.

The companies agreed to research and evaluate the requirements of 5G networks, including the architecture required to deliver very high data rates with low latency -- requirements commonly cited as key to the next generation technology.

Specifically, Telefónica and Huawei's MoU covers key air interface technology, performance evaluation and prototype verification, the Chinese vendor explained in a statement announcing the agreement.

Blanco said that Telefónica "doesn't want the 5G networks start-up to be a specific single event, but rather a process which we want to begin right now."

The Telefónica CTO added that the next generation mobile technology "will have a massive impact on the telecommunication industry and in society as a whole."

David Wang, president of Huawei Wireless Product Line, said the company's "collaboration with Telefónica is at the very heart" of its commitment to 5G, which aims to "help build better connected societies, businesses and economies".

Huawei "is investing a tremendous research effort into the 5G enabling technology," Wang noted. Indeed, in 2014 the vendor announced it would invest $600 million (€562 million) into researching the technology through 2018, some £5 million (€7.1 million/$7.6 million) of which is being pumped into the recently opened 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the UK-based University of Surrey.

In a separate announcement, the Chinese vendor enhanced its commitment to Europe by revealing it had opened a new R&D centre in Ireland.

The Dublin-based facility will create 50 new jobs by 2016 and focus on researching business innovation, network services, cloud and customer experience, and ICT transformation for service providers.

Huawei said the new Dublin facility will be its lead R&D site in Ireland, adding to an existing site in Dublin, Cork and Athlone.

For more:
- see Huawei's Telefónica 5G announcement
- view this related Ireland release

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